Results days through the years
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
I’ve now finished what should be the final exams I’ll ever have to sit (finger crossed). Over the last seven years I’ve done GCSEs, A levels, uni, and now a journalism qualification – I’m very much done with exams.
With exams come results, and I have always hated that part. This year hasn’t been too bad because results have come out in dribs and drabs. Rather than there being one big results day, results have come out four weeks after each individual exam. Currently I have seven out of nine results, with the final two coming out in the next couple of weeks.
Uni was pretty much the same. Results were posted individually, so you were never getting lots of results on one day. This drip feeding technique was much more relaxed compared to previous years – GCSE and A levels were a whole other ball game.
GCSE results day was my first big one. School opened at 9am, and everyone was there. I just remember lining up to get my envelope, then running back to the car. Some groups were opening them right there in the building in front of friends and teachers – this was a no from me. I wanted to be in the car with my mum, and that was it.
The feeling of stress turns to confusion once you actually open that dreaded brown envelope though. Suddenly you’re faced with a sheet full of words, and you lose the ability to read as you frantically try and find your results. They really should make it simpler.
After some panicking, I finally worked out what I’d got. All was well, and I could go home and celebrate, enjoy the final couple of weeks of summer before the next challenge – A levels.
Well this hit me like a tonne of bricks. A levels really were a step up. GCSEs had gone well, and I entered sixth form with confidence and definitely some ignorance of what was to come for the next two years.
Flash forward to AS results day. This was the half-way point for A levels, and you need to do well to be able to carry on. How this all works is a bit different now, so I won’t go into the details of AS and A2. What I will say is that AS didn’t go how I wanted.
This time I was driving myself to and from school – that was a mistake.
I cried all the way home, and looking back, it wasn’t even as a bad as I thought. They say that the grade you get in AS year is one below what you’ll get in A2 year. Now how true that is, I don’t know, but if we’re going off that logic – I was on track. In the moment though, I saw myself as a failure and it was the end of the world.
I will say here, I can often turn into a bit of a drama queen – this was one of those moments.
Either way, those were my results and I carried on to A2 year. I can now see that the AS results day tears were an overreaction, and I had failed to really understand the step up from GCSE until that very day. It probably did me good in the long-term because it really pushed me to do well in second year.
Again, that dreaded August day came. This time, the focus for many is whether your results will get you into uni. As well as waiting for school to open, you’re waiting for UCAS to let you know if you’ve been accepted or not – a big day to say the least.
It’s fair to say I watched way too many YouTube videos of people opening their results from previous years, and that element teamed with not sleeping much the night before – I was a nervous mess.
I managed to get some breakfast down me, and sat refreshing UCAS when at about 7.30am the page changed – I had got into uni! The pressure was off by knowing this, results were just an added extra.
Some people choose to wait for results, and then check UCAS. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this because unis don’t always stick to the offer they’ve made you. So if you don’t meet your offer, that doesn’t automatically mean you haven’t got into your first choice uni. I didn’t want this extra stress, but some people really focus on their results – so that’s your call.
The trip to school was really relaxed as a result of knowing I’d got into my first choice. I knew my results had got me where I wanted to be, and they were exactly what I wanted when the envelope moment came – this time there was no running to the car though.
It’s weird now not to have the revise > exams > results structure to work towards, definitely something I won’t miss though. I’m very ready to get into the working world and start a different type of hard work.
If you’re waiting for results, I wish you all the luck in the world.